31 Jan (NucNet): Nuclear energy contributes to the European Union’s three key energy objectives laid out in the bloc’s energy union initiative of security of supply, competitiveness and environmental sustainability, Yves Desbazeille, director-general of industry group Foratom, told journalists in Brussels on 29 January 2018.
According to Mr Desbazeille, the EU must continue to focus on achieving its ultimate goal of cutting CO2 emissions, transitioning to a low-carbon economy, ensuring security of energy supply and creating jobs. He said the EU should continue to use “all the best tools available”, including nuclear energy.
Mr Desbazeille said nuclear was not mentioned in the EU’s latest ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans’ legislative package, although it is currently providing almost half of the EU’s low-carbon electricity.
He said adjustments are also needed to the way the European energy markets work in order to stimulate investment in long-term energy capacities. A higher price to carbon emissions is needed to encourage such investments and a revision of the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS) will be a “key instrument” for decarbonising the EU’s economy, Mr Desbazeille said.
On the UK leaving the Euratom treaty as part of Brexit, Mr Desbazeille said the EU and UK should not delay negotiating their future relationship in the civil nuclear field and in particular defining the parameters of a transitional period.
Euratom is the treaty which underpins the nuclear industry and the trade in nuclear materials in the EU.